JR Smith Says He Wants to Retire a Knick

by May 19, 2013
jr smith

Following a rough outing during the Knicks’ last game of the season, JR Smith—who has an opt-out clause many expect him to take this summer—was asked about his future with the franchise. Sounds like, despite the long odds that New York will be able to afford him, the guard wants to remain in the Big Apple. Via the New York Daily News:  “If these were J.R. Smith’s final games in a Knicks uniform, he went out mostly firing blanks. A season in which he was praised for maturing into the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year ended with Smith most likely heading toward free agency on the heels of an unsightly shooting slump that was a prime factor in the Knicks getting eliminated by the Pacers in six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals. ‘I left shots out there that I should have made, and I wasn’t there for my teammates,’ Smith said after missing 11 of 15 shots in the Knicks’ season-ending 106-99 loss Saturday night. … Whether Smith, 27, gets a chance to redeem himself in New York is uncertain. He is expected to opt out of the final year of his below-market value contract ($2.8 million per year) and test free agency this summer. The most the Knicks can offer the Jersey product is an ‘early Bird’ exception starting at $4.9 million per year over four years, but there might be a team with more salary-cap room willing to pay Smith substantially more. ‘I want to retire a Knick. I don’t want to go anywhere else,’ Smith said. ‘I love my teammates, I love my coaches. I was standing in the locker room looking at my jersey after the game and just knowing that I don’t want to be anywhere else except in the orange and blue. We’ll see.'”